Special treat this evening, a Maori feast and cultural show. We were transported by waka (the Maori word for canoe, but now used for any means of transport—in this case, a bus). Our waka driver, Dennis, is a Maori elder, jokester, and party animal. He taught us the traditional call-and-response chant for paddling a waka in unison, and filled us in on protocol for the “Peace Challenge,” the ritual by which we gained admittance to the village by demonstrating that we came in peace, not war.
We spent the next hour learning about traditional crafts and games (Karel learned the haka; Denise learned poi twirling), while the mouthwatering smells of our dinner wafted through the village.
Then we entered the meeting hall for stories, music, and dance. We also watched a short film about recent Maori history. This was followed by dinner, slow-cooked for hours in the traditional manner, in underground pits.
For the ride home we were entertained by Dennis, our waka driver, and the large group of Austrian tourists, who sang us a song, complete with yodeling.
Dennis sang a song for every nationality present. The last one was She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain, which required that the bus go four spins of the roundabout until he could finish the song and drop us off at the hotel.This entry was posted in Honeymoon 2013